As an integral part of the Office of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the Legal Office provides advice on all legal matters arising within UNOG and the offices of United Nations funds and programmes in Geneva, in close cooperation with the Office of Legal Affairs
The core functions of the Legal Office are as follows:
Providing advice to the Director-General of UNOG
Dealing with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland on host country matters
The Legal Office (LO):
- assumes central responsibility in dealing with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland on all issues concerning the status of the United Nations and its staff in Geneva,
- in close consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs in New York, LO deals with all requests emanating from the Swiss authorities for the waiver of immunity of the Organization and of UNOG staff members,
- represents the United Nations in court cases and external litigation.
The Senior Legal Adviser prepares and carries out written and oral requests concerning the interpretation and implementation of the Host Country Agreement
, with emphasis on privileges and immunities, residence permits (cartes de légitimation, visas
), tax questions and status determination issues.
Answering legal questions from UNOG's Division of Administration, various departments and services, and Geneva offices of United Nations funds and programmes
LO provides day-to-day legal advice to UNOG's Division of Administration, including the Human Resources Management Service, the Finance Resources Management Service, the Safety and Security Section, the Division of Conference Management, the Conference on Disarmament, the Procurement and Contracts Unit, the Public Information Section, etc.
LO also provides advice to:
- the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE),
- the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),
- the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
- the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR),
- the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR),
- the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
on, inter alia, the conclusion of bilateral agreements covering meetings, seminars and other events away from Geneva, and procedural aspects of their respective governing bodies.
Coordinating with the Legal Advisers of the Geneva-based international organizations
Participating in various panels and commissions
Liaison with the Office of Legal Affairs in New York
Organizing and conducting the International Law Seminar
ILS is convened on an annual basis within the framework of the International Law Commission
. As Director of the International Law Seminar
(ILS), the Senior Legal Adviser is responsible for fund-raising, selecting participants, organizing the three-week programme and daily follow-up of the activities of participants. This also includes budget management of the ILS Trust Fund and related certifying officer responsibilities. This Trust Fund should provide 17/18 fellowships to the participants in the Seminar through voluntary contributions from Governments.
Providing administrative support to the International Law Commission